MANILA - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) warned Monday that there are rising incidents of money theft through ATM skimming.
The NBI said a retired police officer has sought the help of the agency's cybercrime division last Friday after she lost almost all her retirement fund amounting to nearly P500,000.
Authorities said "Chief Inspector Anna" lost P100,000 in just one banking day.
The victim said it was already too late when she learned about the unusual withdrawals in her ATM account.
"Ang 31 years in service di biro, pinagpaguran ko yan," she said.
According to the NBI, ATM skimming works by copying personal information through a card reader installed over the ATM's real card slot.
Aside from the electronic device, thieves also hide cameras on the ATM to copy the person's PIN number, which is why ATMs now have so-called PIN guards.
The NBI has suggested several ways to protect ATM cardholders from thieves.
NBI cybercrime division chief Ronald Aguto advised cardholders to withdraw money in populated areas because this lessens the chances thieves can install a skimming device.
Cardholders are also encouraged to apply or register to a bank program where the bank will send a text message for any withdrawals above P10,000.